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Did you know your internet service provider amasses as much data as possible on your digital comings and goings? A 2021 Federal Trade Commission report noted that the leading ISPs have gathered user data on topics as personal as race, sexual orientation and real-time location. They've combined it, cross-referenced it and shared it with third-party partners. Yikes.

Thankfully, there's an easy way to increase your online privacy and security: a VPN, or virtual private network. In addition to providing a more secure and private "tunnel" to your online destination, a VPN can also let you virtually move your location to a different city or country -- a nice bonus if you're looking to get around local censorship laws or try out different slates of streaming media offerings in different locales. 

The first thing we'll remind you is that free VPN services aren't worth the risk. For the most part, they're playing that same game of scooping up and selling your data. The good news is there are some great VPN deals available right now with prices starting at less than $2 a month if you prepay for a year or two of service. We've tested a bunch of the market leaders and pulled together our recommendations for the best VPNs

Using that list as a jumping-off point, what appears below is a list of the best VPN deals and sales available right now. Just keep a few things in mind:

  • Some of these offers have countdown clocks saying that the VPN deals are ending "today." These are usually marketing tactics that have no relationship to the deal's actual end date.
  • We will update sale prices when we notice a change, so be sure to check back often.
  • ZDNet Academy (purveyor of the KeepSolid VPN deal) is the in-house retailer of ZDNet, CNET's sister site.
  • The VPN industry has undergone significant change in the past few months, with all three of our top VPN choices announcing major changes in corporate ownership. In December, ExpressVPN announced that it had officially joined Kape Technologies, a company that already owns several other VPNs and has raised privacy concerns in the past. In February, NordVPN and Surfshark announced the two companies were merging, though they'll continue to operate autonomously. We're in the process of reevaluating all of our top picks in light of these changes. We will update our reviews and, if necessary, our rankings to account for this new competitive landscape. 
  • Most of these offers are for subscriptions of two years or more, which is a long time to tie yourself to a service that could change ownership (see above) or terms of service, or even have a security incident. While most services have a 30-day free cancellation policy at the start, be sure to check the terms of service before signing up for a long-term commitment. 

VPN deals: Tested and recommended

The VPNs in this first group are also among our current top five best VPN picks. As such, we can broadly recommend them -- albeit with the noted caveats. That said, the fast-changing ownership landscape in the VPN space may continue to shake things up, but we will continue to update this as we uncover more.

Surfshark

Devices: Unlimited

Refund policy: Fully refundable for 30 days

Surfshark is a relative newcomer to the VPN space, but it's quickly become known for its speed, which is why it's one of our VPN experts' top picks. Surfshark also supports unlimited devices, which is great for large households. If you pick up 24 months of Surfshark VPN right now, you'll pay only $2.30 a month (billed at $60). Note that Surfshark is in the process of merging with rival NordVPN, though the companies have pledged that they'll continue to operate independently. Read our Surfshark review.

NordVPN

Devices: Up to six

Refund policy: Fully refundable for 30 days

An industry heavyweight and still one of CNET's top picks, NordVPN is discounting its two-year subscription plan. Usually $286.80, the plan is on sale for $79 -- or $3.29 a month. (Note, again, that NordVPN and Surfshark are merging -- here's what that means for you.)

After you purchase your two year subscription, NordVPN will give you a random gift which could be up to two more years of service at no additional cost.

Read our NordVPN review.

 

IPVanish

Devices: Unlimited

Refund policy: Fully refundable for 30 days

With one of the best user interfaces in the field, according to our reviewer, IPVanish is good for those who want to be able to customize settings and those who are new to a VPN. If this is your first time at the rodeo and want to know more about the technology, IPVanish is a reliable service with a gentle learning curve. Normally IPVanish goes for $90 a year, but this deal gets you a year of IPVanish for only $48 ($3.99 per month). This is one of the lowest-priced deals without a multiyear commitment. Note that IPVanish is owned by US-based Ziff Davis, which may be a concern if you're a security-focused user. Read our IPVanish review.

ProtonVPN

Devices: Up to 10

Refund policy: Fully refundable for 30 days

Go off the grid with ProtonVPN for only $3.29 a month (billed at $79), good for two full years. ProtonVPN Basic (the standard plan) has no data caps or server switching limits. Its ease of use, Tor support and ad-blocking feature make ProtonVPN a favorite with many users. You may also opt for the single-year plan at $4 (billed at $48) or get the monthly plan for $5 a month. To access the biggest savings, choose the two-year plan option. Read our ProtonVPN review.

Additional VPN deals

We either haven't fully tested the following VPNs, or have only tested them anecdotally. Thus we can only recommend them for casual use, such as bypassing geographic restrictions while streaming media. 

KeepSolid VPN

Devices: Up to 5 (for $40) or 10 (for $60)

Refund policy: Refundable as store credit for 15 days after purchase if unused

KeepSolid's unlimited plan costs $10 a month if you buy it directly from KeepSolid. Via ZDNet Academy -- the in-house retailer of ZDNet, CNET's sister site -- you can get a lifetime subscription to VPN Unlimited for only $40. You can also upgrade to the 10 devices plan for only $20 more. We haven't formally reviewed KeepSolid, but its privacy and no-log policies are generally in line with what we like. An earlier informal test drive we did included reflections on KeepSolid's speed (but that test was conducted a while ago).

PureVPN

Devices: Up to 10

Refund policy: Fully refundable for 31 days

PureVPN presents another affordable option if you're in the market for a simple VPN without a big price tag. With a solid server fleet of over 6,500 in 78 countries, PureVPN promises reliable service, although we haven't had the chance to verify. Another thing to disclaim here: PureVPN was reported on by our sister site ZDNet as having provided timestamp-only logs to the FBI in a cyberstalking case back in 2018. PureVPN has since stopped the timestamp logging practice and undergone a third-party audit to ensure that it keeps to its no-log policy. There are currently deals priced at $2 a month for two years ($53.95 upfront) or you can opt for the 12-month plan at $3.24 per month.

Atlas VPN

Devices: Unlimited

Refund policy: Fully refundable for 30 days

Atlas VPN is a budget VPN aimed at casual users whose main requirements are video streaming and P2P file sharing. It has all the features you would expect from a VPN, such as strong encryption, a no-log policy and a network kill switch. Atlas VPN's server fleet is currently stated to be around 700 across 28 countries, which is smaller than those of the major VPN providers. The service was acquired by rival NordVPN last year, so that may involve terms of service changes going forward. However, since we already like Nord, we're hoping this is a step forward, not a step back. (Atlas offers a free version, though we always suggest you steer clear of those.) Use code atlaswelcome at checkout to get 24 months of Atlas VPN for only $2 a month ($49 upfront).

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